Affiliations: Cone Laboratory for Research in Neurosurgery, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada | Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada | Département de Kinanthropologie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada | Unité des troubles du mouvement André-Barbeau, Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
Note:  Correspondence to: Christian Duval, PhD, Dept. of Kinanthropology, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), C.P. 8888 Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal (Québec) Canada. H3C 3P8. Tel.: +1 514 987 3000/4440; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Background: Maintaining a physically active lifestyle promotes general health. Recent studies have demonstrated that patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) fail to meet the suggested levels of physical activity and that targeted interventions do not always improve this behavior. One validated treatment for motor symptoms in PD is subthalamic stimulation (STN DBS). Objective: Assess whether motor symptom improvement following STN DBS translated into increased physical activity behavior. Methods: Twenty patients with PD scheduled for bilateral STN DBS filled-out the Phone-FITT physical activity questionnaire and the SF-36 quality of life questionnaire prior to surgery and 6 to 9 months postoperatively. Data were compared to age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Results: Our results demonstrate that PD patients' quality of life is significantly lower than healthy controls. While STN DBS improves motor symptoms in the intermediate term, it only improves some aspects of quality of life related to physical function. Furthermore, STN DBS does not modify physical activity behavior measured by the Phone-FITT, whether for household or recreational activities. Conclusion: The current study demonstrates that the motor improvements observed after STN DBS do not lead to systematic improvements in all aspects of quality of life or increased levels of physical activity. This highlights the need to develop and implement intervention strategies to promote an active lifestyle in this population, even if clinical improvement is evident following surgery.
Keywords: Parkinson, STN, DBS, quality of life, exercise